Women accused in killing granted bond
A judge granted bond Wednesday for a Martinez mother and daughter charged with murder in the August death of an 85-year-old woman in their care.
Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet granted a $50,000 bond to Deborah Yvonne Hill, 48, and a $25,000 bond for her daughter, Brittany Michelle Hurst, 19.
Hurst was released Thursday after posting bond; Hill remained in jail Friday.
During a Dec. 2 arraignment hearing, both entered pleas of not guilty to charges of murder and cruelty to persons 65 years and older.
They are charged in the death of 85-year-old Blanche Aline Carpenter, a life partner of Hill’s grandmother. Hill and Hurst were acting as Carpenter’s caregivers at their Locks Hill home when they reported her death to police Aug. 25.
Hill’s attorney, Jacque Hawk, said before the family’s Aug. 9 move from Albany, Ga., Carpenter was in hospice care for numerous illnesses and was not ambulatory because of painful hip replacements. Hill took over caring for the women. Neither wanted to go to a nursing home, Hawk said.
Already, Hill was taking care of her disabled husband, Hawk said.
According to authorities, Carpenter had been dead about two days. An autopsy revealed she died of medical complications of neglect.
Both women initially claimed Carpenter had been responsive earlier in the day in the bedroom she shared with Hill’s grandmother. Hurst later told authorities she knew of Carpenter’s death, and she was covered with a plastic sheet that sheriff’s deputies found in a garbage can, according to investigators.
Hill also faces three counts of cruelty to children and two counts of misdemeanor failure to educate. Authorities say her children, then ages 16, 11, and 9, lived in unsanitary conditions and that two had not been sent to school.
The eldest child is with his father. The two others are in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services.
Hill’s grandmother and husband, who is under the supervision of Adult Protective Services, are in assisted-living facilities.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
FedEx package stolen off porch, resident says
A Martinez woman called authorities Tuesday after discovering a package sent from her son’s father in Afghanistan was stolen from her front porch.
The 34-year-old said she was expecting the package, containing an XBox video game console, from the soldier deployed overseas. She had no information on the package other than confirmation it was delivered at 12:28 p.m. When her son arrived home from school at about 3:30 p.m., the package was not on the porch as she’d expected.
The woman said she asked her neighbors if they saw anything unusual. Two women said as they came home from grocery shopping they saw two men walking up the street. One of the men, they said, grabbed the FedEx package and ran behind the house.
The neighbors told deputies they didn’t know why they didn’t call police but said they thought it was possible the woman had asked the men to pick up the package.
Thieves in truck get away with ladder rack
A construction foreman recently told police he saw men stealing from his boss’s Harlem home.
He arrived at the Watson Bailey house at about 3 p.m. and saw three men loading a ladder rack into the back of a red Ford truck. When he asked whether they had permission, the men said they did and provided names the man didn’t recognize.
When the foreman said he was calling the owner, the men quickly left in the truck. The owner said he had a refrigerator stolen from the front porch a few days earlier.
Martinez man tries to trap burglar in shed
A Martinez man told deputies Wednesday that he caught and tried to trap a man stealing from his shed.
The man, 55, who lives on Candlestick Way, said he heard the alarm on his shed go off at about 7:30 p.m. He walked outside and saw a man at the shed.
The man said he tried to keep the burglar inside the shed by holding the door closed. He was not able to keep the burglar contained and he ran away with a $250 miter saw.
Another Candlestick Way resident told authorities that between 5 and 9:40 p.m., someone entered his house through an unlocked window and stole numerous items, including jewelry, clothing and a $900 helmet.